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Civil Engineering Technician Job Description and Salary Details

Last Updated on April 17, 2023 by Admin

In this article, we have outlined the job description and some of the key responsibilities along with the education requirement, job outlook, and salary details of a civil engineering technician. 


Civil Engineering Technicians ensure civil infrastructure construction, maintenance, and repair in urban and rural areas. CETs typically have a college degree in civil engineering or another related field and may work as consultants, engineers, or planners.

What is a Civil Engineering Technician?

A Civil Engineering Technician (CET) is a professional within the civil engineering field. They are responsible for performing various tasks, from drawing plans and preparing construction documents to monitoring construction progress and providing technical support.


These technicians often collaborate with other professionals in their field, such as architects or engineers. They may also have experience in the construction industry and may be trained in surveying and mapping.

They are typically responsible for working on projects of all sizes, from small residential renovations to large infrastructure projects.

Civil Engineering Technician Job Description

Civil engineering technicians are responsible for carrying out various tasks in the engineering field, including civil engineering surveying and mapping, construction monitoring, and simulation.

CETs typically have a bachelor’s degree in engineering and may also have certification in specialty areas such as surveying or construction.

Civil engineering technologists and technicians help civil engineers plan, design, and build infrastructure and development projects.

The CET’s role is varied and can vary depending on the project. Typical tasks may include:

  • Drawing plans and preparing construction documents
  • Maintaining roads and bridges
  • Inspecting buildings
  • Collaborating with other professionals in the field, such as architects or engineers

Civil engineering technicians typically work on various projects, from small residential renovations to large infrastructure projects.

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Civil Engineering Technician Roles and Responsibilities

CETs are responsible for performing various tasks related to construction projects. This can include surveying and mapping land, designing and constructing roads, bridges, and other infrastructure, and managing construction workers.

Civil engineering technologists and technicians help civil engineers plan, design, and build highways, bridges, utilities, and other infrastructure projects. They also help to plan, design, and build commercial, industrial, residential, and land development projects.

They must carry out complex tasks quickly and accurately and have strong communication and organizational skills.

CETs are often required to work on various projects and may be required to travel to various locations. Because of this, they must be able to handle stress and cope with difficult working conditions.


CETs are an essential part of the civil engineering field and are often required to work on complex projects.

They typically require high-level technical knowledge, problem-solving, and strong communication and organizational skills.

Duties of Civil Engineering Technicians

Civil engineering technologists and technicians typically do the following:

  • Read and review project drawings and plans to determine the sizes of structures
  • Confer with engineers to prepare plans
  • Develop plans and estimate costs for constructing systems and operating facilities
  • Use computer-aided design (CAD) software to draft project drawings
  • Conduct field surveys to collect data on site conditions and inspect structures
  • Test the appropriateness of construction materials and soil samples
  • Observe project sites to ensure that construction conforms to design specifications and applicable codes
  • Prepare reports and document project activities and data
  • Set up and help maintain project files and records
  • They typically install, troubleshoot, and maintain designs created by engineers.
  • They may work under the direction of engineers or engineering technologists.
  • Civil engineering technologists typically help licensed engineers improve designs or incorporate new technology.
  • They may be team leaders instructing CETs on installing equipment, systems, or structures.
  • These technologists and technicians observe progress on a Jobsite, collect data, and complete reports to document project activities.

Because they are not licensed, civil engineering technologists and technicians cannot approve designs or supervise the overall project.

In addition, civil engineering technologists and technicians sometimes estimate construction costs, develop specifications, and prepare drawings.

Work Environment and Work Schedule

Civil engineering technologists and technicians work in offices, helping civil engineers plan and design projects.

They also visit construction job sites to collect or test materials or to observe activities as a project inspector. They may work at several sites, using cars or trucks as a mobile office.

Civil engineering technologists and technicians frequently work on teams with civil engineers, surveyors and surveying technicians, construction workers, and others involved with projects.

Civil engineering technologists and technicians usually work full time. When working at construction sites, their schedules may be subject to factors that affect construction, such as weather. Their schedules may also be tied to the construction projects they are involved with.

Required Skill in Civil Engineering Technician

Some of the skills that CETs may need include: strong analytical and problem-solving skills, excellent communication and coordination abilities, experience working with computers and software, and knowledge of construction methods.

Strong working knowledge of construction equipment and construction tools, excellent physical stamina and strength, strong work ethic, experience working under pressure, and knowledge of safety protocols.


Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, excellent communication and coordination abilities, experience working with computers and software, and knowledge of construction methods.

They may also need problem-solving, math skills, and work with computers. In addition, CETs typically need a degree in civil engineering.

Important Qualities

Following are some of the essential qualities required;

Critical-thinking skills

Civil engineering technologists and technicians are the first points of contact for clients. They carry out project plans, designs, and reports for engineers who have approved projects.

Decision-making skills

Without proper comprehension and communication, civil engineering technologists and technicians will not be able to thrive.

Math skills

Civil engineering technologists and technicians use math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting.

Observational skills

Civil engineering technologists and technicians sometimes visit job sites to assess a project and report to the engineer.

Problem-solving skills

As assistants to civil engineers, these technologists and technicians must be able to help them identify problems and design projects to solve the problems.

Technical Writing skills

Civil engineering technologists must be able to create reports that are well organized and convey information.

Civil engineering Technician vs. civil engineer

The main difference between a CET and a civil engineer is that a CET typically only has the certification in civil engineering technology but does not have the design or construction certification required by a civil engineer.

Civil engineering technician vs. civil engineer: The job difference

  • Regarding the job title, CET falls into the technical category, while civil engineering falls into the professional category.
  • CETs typically handle various tasks within the technical realm, such as surveying and drawing maps.
  • On the other hand, civil engineers are responsible for more complex work, such as designing bridges and roads. However, both positions involve much fieldwork and require good communication and problem-solving skills.
  • Salaries for civil engineers typically fall on the higher end of the spectrum, while wages for they can be slightly lower.
  • Similarities between the two positions include a focus on hands-on work, strong teamwork skills, and a willingness to take on challenging tasks.
  • The main difference between the two is that they typically have a background in engineering or surveying, while civil engineers usually have a degree in civil engineering.
  • Overall, CETs are good candidates for positions requiring technical skills, while civil engineers are better suited for positions requiring more complex work and a higher level of responsibility.

Civil engineering technician vs. civil engineer: The Benefits

  • One of the main benefits of being a civil engineering technician is gaining experience in various fields. This can lead to a career in civil engineering, one of the country’s most in-demand professions.
  • Additionally, CCETs often have the opportunity to work with engineers on more complex projects. This can give you skills and knowledge you wouldn’t be able to get just by working as a regular employee.
  • As for salaries, CETs typically earn less than civil engineers. However, this is mainly dependent on the individual’s experience and qualifications. Salaries for CETs can vary significantly based on location and industry.
  • If you are considering a career in civil engineering, it’s essential to know the difference between a CET and a civil engineer.
  • A CET is is usually a less-educated specialist who performs surveying, drawing plans, and installing infrastructure.
  • Civil engineers typically have a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and oversee projects from design to completion.

How to Become a Civil Engineering Technician

Civil engineering technicians are responsible for various tasks, from surveying land to designing and constructing infrastructure.

To become a CET, you’ll need a degree in civil engineering or a related field. After completing your undergraduate studies, you’ll need to gain experience in the industry.  You can do this by becoming an intern in a civil engineering department.

Once you have the necessary experience, you can apply for a CET position. This position typically requires years of experience in the field.

However, some colleges offer associate degrees in civil engineering technology, allowing you to enter the workforce more quickly.

If you want to become a CET, it’s essential to have strong math and science skills. You’ll also need good problem-solving abilities and surveying and map interpretation knowledge. Ultimately, you’ll need excellent attention to detail and communication skills.

Education Qualification to become a Civil Engineering Technician.

Civil engineering technicians are typically required to have a college degree in civil engineering, although there are no specific educational requirements for the position.

They may also possess other engineering credentials, such as an associate’s degree in civil engineering or a certification in civil engineering technology.

They are the bridge between engineers and construction workers. They are responsible for performing tasks such as drawing plans and designing structures, surveying land, and inspecting work sites.

To be eligible for a CET job, you will need a degree in civil engineering. However, experience is also beneficial.

Civil engineers may take standard courses, including surveying, construction management, and hydraulic engineering.

Other Experience

Some CETs enter the occupation after gaining work experience in a related occupation, particularly as drafters or CAD technicians. Drafters or CAD operators working for an engineering firm may advance to civil engineering technologist or technician positions as their knowledge of design and construction increases.

Civil Engineering Technician Salary Details

Civil Engineering Technologists’ and Technicians’ salaries can vary depending on experience and skills.

Entry-level civil engineering technicians typically earn around $47,000 annually, while experienced civil engineers earn up to $85,000.

SourceSalary Per Year
BLS (Median Pay)$58,320 (Median Salary)$54,000 (Average Salary)$54,559

As with any occupation, the location of a civil engineering technician’s job significantly impacts their salary. Cities known for their robust infrastructures tend to pay their civil engineering technicians more than other cities.

Civil Engineering Technician Job Outlook

The civil engineering technician job outlook is excellent, with an expected growth of about 16 percent between 2016 and 2026.

There is a high demand for CET due to the growth of infrastructure projects. The job outlook for CETs is positive, as the field is expected to grow by about 9% over the next decade.

If you are interested in a civil engineering career, consider a degree program in the field. A degree will give you the skills and experience needed to land a CET job.

A CET is a highly skilled professional who performs various tasks related to civil engineering. CETs are in high demand, and their salaries reflect this.

The employment of civil engineering technologists and technicians is projected to show little or no change from 2021 to 2031.

Where to search for the civil engineering technician jobs

Looking for a civil engineering technician job? Civil engineering technician job descriptions often include tasks such as conducting surveys, surveying land, designing structures, and performing other work related to civil engineering.

Here are five great resources to find the correct position for you.


Indeed is a great place to start your search for civil engineering technician jobs. You can browse through all of the current openings and filter by location, occupation, and company size.

2. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an excellent resource for finding civil engineering technician jobs and networking with potential employers. If you haven’t already created a LinkedIn profile, now is the time to do so. Check this LinkedIn Jobs Search Guide | How to find jobs on LinkedIn in 2022?

3. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

It also maintains an extensive job database; You can also check out career websites for specific civil engineering technician careers, such as the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) website. You can narrow your search by location, skill set, or category (such as civil engineering technician jobs).


Monster is another excellent resource for finding civil engineering technician jobs. You can search by city, state, or country on this website. You can filter by company size and job type (full-time, part-time, contract).

If you’re looking for a job in a specific city or region, is a great resource. You can search by city or state and view all available positions.

5. Google is another great resource for finding jobs and hiring managers.

Type “civil engineering technician” or “civil engineer technician jobs” into the Google search bar, and you’ll be presented with a list of results that include current and past job openings from companies all over the United States. Also, check this valuable resource on how to use Google for job search effectively.

Finally, don’t forget to check out websites dedicated specifically to finding civil engineering technician jobs,

The CET is a professional who performs tasks in the construction, maintenance, repair, and renovation of roads, bridges, dams, airports, water systems, and other public works.

Civil Engineering Technician Courses

As a CET, you may work in various settings, including construction companies, government agencies, and private firms.

To become a CET, you may need a degree in civil engineering or another related field. However, many CETs do not have a university degree. Instead, they may have some experience performing maintenance and repair work on civil engineering equipment.

The Civil Engineering Technology program at Washington State University offers a Certificate of Applied Science in Civil Engineering Technology. This program provides an entry-level education in the field of civil engineering technology.

Here are some of the civil Engineering Courses you should consider for your civil engineering technician study.

Civil Engineering Technician Certification

There is no official certification for civil engineering technicians. However, many employers may require certification to hire you.

CET Jobs are available in various sectors, such as energy, transportation, environment, water resources, and urban development.

Some employers may also require certification in specific areas, such as water resources or structural engineering.

CETs typically have a four-year degree in civil engineering and may need certification from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to work as civil engineer technician.

CETs typically need certification from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to work as civil engineer technicians. A CET must pass an ASCE certification examination to be certified.

Certification is not required to enter this occupation, but it may help technologists and technicians develop their careers.

For example, the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) oversees certification for civil engineering technicians who pass an exam and provide supporting documentation. NICET requires technicians to update their skills and knowledge through a recertification process that encourages continuing professional development.

Employment Opportunities

The need to preserve, repair, and upgrade the country’s infrastructure continues to increase. Bridges, roads, levees, airports, and dams must be rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced.

In addition, more waste treatment plants will be needed to help clean the nation’s waterways, and water systems must be maintained to reduce or eliminate the loss of potable water.

Civil engineers plan, design, and oversee this work, and civil engineering technologists and technicians will be needed to assist the engineers in these projects.

These engineers could assist with renewable energy projects. For example, these engineers might help minimize costs and maximize the performance of a solar power project when working with wind turbines that can be difficult to work with due to their size and weight.

Nowadays, CAD programs are better and can drastically increase worker productivity. This makes CAD software skilled workers “limited” in their availability.

Career Growth

Civil engineering technologists and technicians may advance in their careers by learning to design systems for various projects, such as storm sewers, and become skilled at reading graphical drawings of proposed projects. Technicians who obtain appropriate education or certification may advance to become technologists.

A CET can expect significant career opportunities in the private and public sectors.
Future civil engineering technologists and technicians should take courses in science and math, such as chemistry, physics, geometry, and trigonometry.

Employers may prefer to hire engineering technologists and technicians with an associate’s degree from a program accredited by ABET, although a degree is not always required.


Looking for a career in civil engineering? If you are interested in a civil engineering technician career, read our full job description and explore the civil engineering technician salary details available in advance. You may be surprised that this field offers both challenging and rewarding work, with opportunities for growth and advancement. So if civil engineering technology interests you, take some time to explore all the available information to decide whether this is the right career for you.



What does a civil engineering technician do?

A civil engineering technician works with engineers and other professionals to design, manage, and supervise construction projects. They may work on various construction projects, from roads and bridges to wastewater treatment plants and water supply systems. CETs are typically involved in the preliminary stages of most construction projects, helping ensure that the project is designed correctly and that all aspects are adequately coordinated.

What is the difference between a civil engineer and an engineering technician?

Civil Engineers design and oversee the construction of physical assets, such as bridges and buildings. They use mathematics, science, engineering principles, and materials to come up with solutions for problems. CETs help engineers perform their work by inspecting equipment, testing designs or carrying out calculations. Whether you are an engineer or technician looking to advance your career, pursuing a degree in engineering is a great way to start.

Can a civil engineering technician become a civil engineer?

Yes, a CET can become a civil engineer. However, it takes dedication and hard work right education to transition from technician to civil engineer. 

List of recommended books for civil engineering technicians?

Civil engineering books are educational books that provide reference materials for teachers and students or could be used for individual learners. These books are meant to learn about the different disciplines within civil engineering, including structural, hydraulic, and surveying. Visit this link for essential Books, Textbooks, and Reference Books to study civil engineering.

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